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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Syed, Shaheen Ashraf Shah
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: JQ, HQ
This study provides a case study of women’s political representation in the National\ud Parliament of Pakistan, where a particular form of the quota approach has been adapted\ud in a highly gendered political context. By examining the experiences of Pakistani\ud women parliamentarians, this thesis contributes to key academic literature on gender\ud quotas and political representation that has received a considerable attention from\ud feminist scholars. The aim of this thesis is to explore the extent to which women’s\ud formal representation is translated into substantive change for women.\ud This is an empirical case study, primarily based on qualitative analyses of face-to-face\ud in-depth semi-structured interviews of 20 women parliamentarians (out of 76) and\ud proceedings of the parliament of the last three years (2008-11). By adapting Anne\ud Phillips’s (1995) The Politics of Presence in entirely new and novel way, one of the\ud major contributions this study claims to make to the theoretical literature is to\ud analytically examine the effects of quotas from various aspects of political\ud representation: descriptive, substantive and symbolic representation and from a broader\ud perspectives than has hitherto been seen. It also addresses a major gap in the literature\ud on the reasons why some quota women act more often than others in legislatures, and\ud what factors contribute to the silence and suppression of Pakistani women leaders.\ud It is argued that women’s presence in the political spheres is important, but that it is\ud vital to take the particular context into account when judging whether women can and\ud do act for women. This thesis shows that representation depends on various factors\ud which can positively or negatively contribute towards substantive change. It also\ud demonstrates that quotas may challenge existing gender dynamics and have various\ud effects on women’s representation within and outside parliament. However, some\ud gender and human rights issues may be difficult to tackle, especially those challenging\ud the powerful feudal and tribal political elite (mainly men).
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